Friday, December 17, 2010

Lights and Action

It wouldn’t be the holidays without a drive through Candy Cane Lane. Though this year my take on the trip was a little different. Usually we just ooh and aah about all the decorated houses and yards. Almost everybody in the four square block area goes all out with lights, snowmen, angels, snowflakes and even one live Santa in a sleigh. Everybody drives about five miles an hour and only has their parking lights on.

Along with all the decorations, there are people standing in the street selling glow in the dark necklaces, the Eagle Scouts set up an espresso bar and a pink truck strung with lights makes fresh funnel cakes.

The normally empty streets are clogged with traffic and this year with bicycles, too. Luckily the bicycle riders had decked themselves and their transportation out in holiday lights, otherwise it there could have been a lot of squished wheels and maybe squished riders, too.

But I said my take on the ride through all the decorations was different this year. When I knew that You Better Knot Die was going to be a holiday book, I knew I wanted to have a scene in Candy Cane Lane. I also knew that just a scene of people oohing and aahing would be pretty flat. So I stuck a climatic scene there, where Molly and her crew realize somebody is going to get away with murder unless they can get somewhere and stop them. Unfortunately, they realize this as they are in one of the decorated houses. The street is a traffic jam and even backing out of the driveway takes forever. Then moving with the snail pace of the other cars makes it even more tense. Finally, finally, they get to a cross street and are able to speed up.

Now I can’t get that image out of my head. This year as we passed the three colorfully lit palm trees, the giant snow globe with Santa and a snowman, the driveway with a jeep covered in strings of lights, and the live Santa in the sleigh with a line of people (all adults) waiting to sit on his lap, all I could think about was Molly and her friends. Were they in the car behind us, pounding on the steering wheel in frustration, trying to will us to go faster?

Do you have a special holiday tradition?


Linda O. Johnston said...

Where is Candy Cane Lane, Betty? We wanted to take our visiting family to the light show at Griffith Park but it was cancelled this year because of utility work, darn it. Love the picture you posted. I'll look forward to reading the scene in You Better Knot Die!

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, you take the 101 to the Winnetka exit. Turn right. Turn right on the first street and follow the crowd. Candy Cane Lane goes from just west of Corbin to more or less the block east of Winnetka and from Calvert to I think either Martha or Clark St.

Have fun. The weekends are crazy. We went Thursday night around nine p.m. and it was busy.

Camille Minichino said...

I love the way you weave in setting and action, Betty!

I also want to take this opportunity to wish all my KillerHobbies blogger friends and their readers a happy holiday season -- from Halloween through New Year's, I hope you're all enjoying the music, feasts, and the spirit of the season in whatever tradition has meaning for you!

I miss you all and wish you a wonderful 2011!

Camille/Margaret Grace/Ada Madison

Betty Hechtman said...

We miss you, Camille! I hope you have a wonderful holiday!